Thursday, August 12, 2010

DS9 Rewind Review – “Move Along Home”

Kira (Nana Visitor), Sisko (Avery Brooks), Bashir (Alexander Siddig), and Dax (Terry Farrell) look on in horror at the potential decimation of their acting careers due to their appearances in "Move Along Home".  Allamarain!
Review by Paul Steven Brown

‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’
Season 1 – Episode 9
“Move Along Home”

Oh… that was bad.

Let’s start with the good. After a several episode absence, Cirroc Lofton returns as Commander Sisko’s son, Jake. During the teaser we are treated to Sisko panicking upon the realization that a) he has a teenage son, and b) said teenage son is getting advice about the opposite sex from the Ferengi boy, Nog. The casual viewer may not be aware of how women are treated in Ferengi society, but we well-versed Trek geeks know all about their misogyny. It’s a funny scene and Avery Brooks comes across more natural and less theatrical.

But that’s about it. The rest of “Move Along Home” feels like bad attempt at shoving DS9 characters into a ‘60s ‘Star Trek’ plot. And not one of the good ones, mind you. Other than Quark’s greedy personality, this story could have been used in just about any sci-fi television show that may potentially involve an encounter with a strange, new alien race.

Speaking of which, the Wadi are less than compelling visually or verbally. Bad hair, bad clothes, and stenciled on forehead paint are about the extent of their look. None of them have any lines other than Falow, who is played by veteran character actor Joel Brooks (look him up on IMDB; he’s been in everything – even game shows). Their big thing: they love games.

Vulcans are logical. Klingons love battle. Ferengi are greedy. Wadi play games.

The puzzles in the game weren’t really that challenging either. Two failed attempts at the Chandra’s riddle were one too many. The crew’s slowness didn’t make them look nearly as silly as they did chanting the rhyme and performing hop-scotch. I do have to admit that I admire Avery Brooks’ decision to sing it falsetto.

There are a few nice directorial touches, but they seem purely due to the restrictions of the game set that Sisko, Kira, Dax, and Bashir are stuck in. There are a few overhead shots that almost expand the environment a bit. Also, when the gang is scooting along the cliff’s edge, they are shot from below, though it doesn’t really sell the illusion that they are hanging over a crevasse.

That climatic cave seen; what can I say about that? It went on way too long. Dax gets her foot injured. There’s the “I’m not leaving you behind” argument. The gang go one way and then decide to go back. There’s a second “I’m not leaving you behind” argument. Kira falls over the side and the others try to pull her back up. Finally, and thankfully, they all fall down.

I’m willing to bet that this episode was responsible for a great deal of viewer attrition during the original airing of the first season of ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’. Very little of it really says anything good about the show or allows for its uniqueness to shine through. This is worst episode of the season so far and probably one of the weakest of the series altogether.

Oh, well. Allamaraine!

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